Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, November 28, 2014

German Literature Month November 2014

Consider this your formal invitation to the close out party for German Literature IV. The festivities will take place in the Goethe Room at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Please wear formal evening attire,if possible. 

My thrice observed annual November sojourn to Germania and the greater Austro-Hungarian Empire has come to a close.  My great thanks to Caroline and Lizzy for the hard work and labour of love behindGerman-Literature   Month.  I read some wonderful works and discovered some great new to me writers.

One cannot help but wonder how a culture that could produce the magnificent Cathedral of Ulm, Mozart and Bach, Goethe, the grand philosophical structures of Kant and Hegel,  could have brought about the Holocaust and the horrible destruction of World War Two.  Joseph Roth felt vicious anti-Semiticism was the natural out come of Prussian culture.  Aplogists will say it was just an aberration and wave their hands around.  Those who don't want to face the question will say it is a paradox of the human condition.  Reverse engineering history as leading up to something takes careful thought and lots of space but I think Roth has a very good point, and he did not live to see the full horror of his predictions come true.  

Here is what I read for the month with some quick notes.  A * means one of my favorites.

1.   Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Reread from decades ago.  

2.   Gertrude by Hermann Hesse - disappointing 

3.  "Diary of a School Boy" by Robert Walser (no post)

4.  Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. * a reread from the long ago. An important book.

5.  Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig 1925. Typical Zweig

6.  Life Goes On by Hans Keilson. ** a work of genius Germany between the wars

7.  Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson ** 

8.  "The Wall" by Jurek Becker. Set in the Lodz Ghetto under the Nazis

9.  "Romeo" by Jurek Becker. Berlin story

10.   "The Invisible City" by Jurek Becker.  

11.  Wittgenstein's Nephew by Thomas Bernhard. First Bernhard for me.  Interesting. 

12. "Dostoevsky's Idiot" by Robert Walser

13.  "French Newspapers" by Robert Wasler 

14.  Jakob the Lier by Jurek Becker * very moving. I also saw Robin Williams movie

15.  The Trial by Franz Kafka 1915,  ** of immense ifluence and very readable

16.  "The Seamstress" by Rainer Maria Rilke  1894. Nice to find a Rilke short story

17.  "The Experiement or the Victory of Children" by Unica Zürn 1950. Yes one of only two works by a woman.

18.  "The Star Above the Forest" by Stefan Zweig. 1924. Story of obsessive love

19.  "Saint Cecilia or the Power of Music" by Heinrich von Kleist 1810. Fun story

20.  Amok by Stefan Zweig 1923.  Very interesting.

21.  Concrete by Thomas Bernhard 1982. Maybe I will try to read him in full 

22.  "Kleist in Thun" by Robert Walser 1913 *** high art

23.  "Incident at Lake Geneva" by Stefan Zweig (1924).  A World War One story.

24.  "The Governess" by Stefan Zweig 1927

25.  "The Sandman" by E. T. A. Hoffmann 1817. Very famous story 

26.  "The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran" by Ingeborg Bachmann 1971 second work by a woman

27.  "Twilight" by Stefan Zweig 1928. Among the best Zweig, historical fiction 

28.   "The Lunatic" by Georg Heym 1913 my first by this author *. 

29.    "Dissection" by Georg Heym 1913 - no post 

30.   "Blackbird" by Robert Musil. No post.  I want to read A Man without Qualities one of these days.

31.  "The Kiss" by Robert Walser 1914. - no post

32.  "The Suspect" by Jurek Becker. 1980,

33.  "A Favorite Family Story" by Jurek Becker 1982 a really entertaining story.

34.  "Moonbeam Alley" by Stefan Zweig. 1928.  A trip into a back alley brothel

35.  "Flower Days". By Robert Walser, 1911, no post.

36.  "Fantastic Night" by Stefan Zweig.  

37.   "The Walk" by Robert Walser. 1917 *** this and "Incident at Thun" were my most liked works

38.   The Flight Without End by Joseph Roth. No post as excellant posts by others. *

39.  Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - I am glad I read this.  *

40.  Effie Briest  by Theodore Fontaine.  Historically interesting but tedious 

I anticipate going forward to read much more in the literature of Germania and The Austro- Hungarian Empire.   I will keep on reading more of Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth.  I hope to acquire  collections of short fiction by Hoffman and von Kleist.  For sure I will read more Robert Walser. I wanted to read ore works by female authors but it did not happen.  I hope to read at least Faust Part one before GL V.
I plan to read more works by Herman Hesse, Thomas Mann and more Kafka for sure. I will read at least one more novel Juret Becker.  I have sadly read all the Kindle editions of books by Gregor von Rezzori.  I will reread his beautiful Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, I hope.

I wanted to read this month The Death of Virgil by Herman Broch and The Emigrants by William Sebald and will try to read them before GL V.

I hope very much to be able to participate in German Literature Month V in November 2015

Thanks again to Lizzy and Caroline.

Hope to see all at the party an The Grand Budapest Hotel, December 1, 2014, Eight PM.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I'm in awe. I've read your posts but seeing tem in a list like that. It's amazing how much you read and reviewed. Thank you so much.